Pantry Goodies Elevate the Simple Pork Tenderloin

Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Quinoa Pilaf & Roasted Veggies

Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Quinoa Pilaf & Roasted Veggies

Feeling like another “fallish” meal with nothing specifically planned I hit the pantry shelves to create a new recipe.  Poking around I gathered Pitted Dates, Golden Raisins, Dried Apricots, Dried Cranberries, Coarse Ground Dijon Mustard, Apricot preserves and from the freezer some leftover stuffing mix.  In the fridge I gathered rosemary, thyme and parsley.  I created a stuffing with the stuffing mix and dried fruits and fresh herbs.  Butterflied, stuffed, rolled and tied the tenderloin, seared and roasted and created a pan sauce.

Stuffing on Butterflied Pork

Stuffing on Butterflied Pork

Stuffed, Rolled & Tied

Stuffed, Rolled & Tied











Here’s the recipe:
• 1 ½ pounds Pork Tenderloin — trimmed
• ¼ cup dates — pitted & roughly chopped
• 1/3 cup dried Apricots — roughly chopped
• ¼ cup golden raisins
• ¼ cup dried cranberries
• 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary — finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme — chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley — chopped
• ½ cup cubed stuffing mix
• 3 tablespoons Olive oil
• 1 large shallot — chopped
• ¾ cup White Wine — or Vermouth
• 1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
• ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
• 2 tablespoons butter
• Kosher Salt
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Butterfly the trimmed tenderloin, cover with plastic wrap and pound to 1/4″ thickness. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  2. To food processor add fruits, herbs, and stuffing mix and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pulse 6-8 times to combine and roughly chop the fruit and bread cubes.
  3. Spread the mixture onto the meat leaving 1 inch border all around. Roll the pork and tie it off in 2in spaces. Season the outside with salt and pepper.
  4. Brown the rolled and tied tenderloin in heavy oven proof skillet in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After browning on all sides place pan into oven and roast for 12 minutes or until instant read thermometer registers 140º
  5. Remove pan from oven and place meat on cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil while making pan sauce.
  6. Drain off excess fat from skillet leaving 1 tablespoon, add shallot and salt and pepper to taste, sauté until moderately browned, deglaze with wine. Cook allowing the wine to reduce by half. Add mustard stir to combine and add broth. Reduce by half add preserves and simmer 3 minutes. Slice Tenderloin and spread on platter, swirl butter into sauce off head and nap over the sliced meat and serve.
Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Quinoa Pilaf & Roasted Veggies

Fruit Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Quinoa Pilaf & Roasted Veggies

We enjoyed it with leftover Quinoa Pilaf w/peas and Roasted Heirloom Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts.

Eat Well…Be Well!


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Was inspired to make something with tomatoes and bacon.  Looked at dozens of recipes and stumbled across a few versions of Cherry Tomato Pie and/or Cobbler.  Several versions seemed to stick in my head as good adaptable ideas.   First there is Martha’s  and Bittman‘s and this one from Joy the Baker.  Of course all used homemade biscuits and since I’ve never met a homemade biscuit from my kitchen that I would serve (apparently my Southern Nana’s deftness at biscuits wasn’t inherited by my hands) I chose to use the ubiquitous refrigerated tube of biscuit dough!

However, I have discovered at more natural, artificial preservative free option from a company called IMMACULATE BAKING CO.  I’ve been pleased with the Buttermilk variety as well as the Flaky and we’ve enjoyed their Cinnamon Rolls as well.

I proceeded to  the kitchen and here’s what I created:

Last Nights Dinner Plate

Last Nights Dinner Plate

I served it with Grilled Romaine Heads that I brushed with EVOO and Tuscan Herbs (Penzey’s) and topped with Grated Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Glaze.  I did find the Balsamic Glaze to be overwhelming due to the fact that we had the balsamic vinegar with the caramelized red onions.  Perhaps a more suitable dressing the for Romaine would have been a lovely butermilky crumbly Blue Cheese Dressing!

Here’s the recipe:

Chef Jim’s Cherry Tomato Cobbler with Parmesan & Pepper Biscuits

• 1 tube refrigerated biscuits — I used Immaculate Brand Flaky Biscuits
• ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese — grated
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 large red onions — sliced in half moon slices
• 3 cloves garlic — minced
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 6 strips uncured bacon — cooked broken into 1″ pieces
• 2 pounds Heirloom cherry tomatoes
• ½ cup basil–coarsely chopped
• 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 sprays vegetable cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 375º
  2. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cover. Stir every few minutes until they start to brown, remove lid and raise heat cook until caramelized (15 minutes or more) season with salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook stirring for one more minute. Remove pan from heat, add balsamic vinegar and set aside.
  3. Divide cherry tomatoes slicing approximately 1/3 of them in half. Combine halved and whole cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, add salt & pepper, flour, basil, caramelized onions and the bacon tossing everything together until lightly coated with flour. Add more flour if needed.
  4. Spray 3 quart casserole with vegetable cooking spray and add tomato mixture. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, mixture should be bubbly and some tomatoes will have burst.
  5. Pull from oven sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top with 6 biscuits. (bake remaining two separately) Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese on top of each biscuit.
  6. Return casserole to the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve warm with favorite green salad for lunch or with grilled meat as a savory side dish for dinner.


Eat Well….Be Well!

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A Harvest Meal for 2014!

Pumpkin Season

Pumpkin Season

Feeling like Fall has arrived via downpours and chills in the air, not to mention the early falling leaves before most trees have even turned colors, we invited a dear friend to join us in a “harvesty” repast!  Sadly, we were so busy catching up that picture opportunities were vastly missed.  As in there are none of the food!!  So this will be largely about the menu and a few pics of the decor!



I loved shopping for and creating the tablescape.  Assorted Fall Squashes, Pumpkin and mini Pumpkins. Place card holders are home printed, with a picture of last year’s Apple Picking trip, then used orange paperclips to attached them to mini white pumpkins!  A few leaves, glass like pumpkins & acorns, votive candles, skinny tapers in pumpkin candle holders along with Pumpkin Tablecloth, Plaid bordered place mats and coordinated napkins finish the Harvest Look!





Here’s the Menu

Hors d’oeuvres/Appetizers:

Roasted Beet & Horseradish Hummus w/Herb Crispbreads, Carrot & Cucumber Sticks

Marinated Mozzarella Balls & Cherry Tomato Skewers

Endive Petals with Humboldt Fog & Bacon Crumbles

Radish Canapes with Dry Cured Olive Butter, Mint & Scallions


Mixed greens and Radicchio with Roasted Butternut Squash, Toasted Pistachios, Pomegranate Arals with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Main Course:

Individual Rigatoni Pies w/Lamb Ragu

Garlic Roasted Broccoli w/Parmesan


Caramel Fondue with Sliced Pears & Apples, Pumpkin Biscotti

Toppings: Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Slivered Almonds, Mini Chocolate Chips and Halloween Sprinkles.

Wines: Louis Jadot Macon-Villages Chardonnay & Castle Rock Caneros Pinot Noir


Radish Canapes with Dry Cured Olive Butter, Mint & Scallions
• 16 oil-cured olives — pitted and finely chopped
• 2 scallions — finely chopped, reserving a few for garnish
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
• 4 ounces European style butter
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 24 crostini
• 4 large radishes — thinly sliced
• Sea salt to garnish
Mix the olives, scallions, mint and butter in a bowl. Season with freshly ground pepper and spread the olive butter onto the Crostini or toasted baguette slices. Layer the two of three radish slices on each baguette slice and garnish with the remaining chopped scallions and sea salt

Eat Well…Be Well!

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